We spotted Frankie the Dog on Friday night in front of Storefront Bushwick. He was appreciating the warmth of the outdoor heater, in a subtle way only a Maltese can: he stuck his pink tongue out, and tilted his head to the right. His owner and a friend Chris Harding, from the English Kills gallery, was nonchalantly discussing art with a couple of friends while Frankie was already planning our route for the night of gallery hopping.
“Peggy Guggenheim was a dog lover and had three Maltese dogs!” Chris proudly petted Frankie on his patient, shaggy head. Frankie’s heritage has clearly destined him for the great career of a gallery dog. He has developed a fine taste in art, and has never barked without good reason. When he did occasionally bark, you could hear the gentle English accent and diction in his voice. Even though Frankie was not particularly fond of the hordes of people walking between the Bushwick art spaces on this Friday night, he was clearly an established admirer of arts and knew he was doing this for a higher, noble cause.
Nose and breath mark at Storefront Bushwick
At Storefront Bushwick, Frankie admired the courage of gallerist Deborah Brown to entrust her space to Adam Parker Smith. Yes, this young installation artist and sculptor petted Frankie gently on the head, so he might as well receive a good review. Frankie enjoyed stepping onto the soft, black carpet that was covering the usually cold, tiled floor. The carpet was meant to accommodate – not exactly Frankie but – the tall rectangular, shower-like mirror object placed in the middle of the gallery. Everybody was pointing to a classical landscape painting by Viola Minasian of Griffith Observatory reflecting in the mirror rectangular. Frankie knew it was for the contrast between the classical peacefulness and the masculinity of the mirrored object dominating the room. He didn’t know what all the fuss was about, but he liked his own reflection. He left a nose and breath mark in the lower part of the object as an addition to the gestural finger prints and marks in the upper part. Additionally, there was a piece hanging in the next room containing a folded, checkered flag in a triangular shape. Unfortunately, it was hanging too high for Frankie to properly see it and provide a well-informed Maltese judgement. Well, Storefront Bushwick, next time hang your art lower, so that a Maltese can appreciate your art as well!
More mirrors and more crowds at NURTUREart
On the way to NurtureART at 56 Bogart, someone leaned over to Chris and said, “It’s one of the boring conceptual shows, “ while he took a hasty sip from his Jim Beam flask. Frankie politely waited for Chris but knew he would not be deprived of an artistic experience. Arriving at NURTUREart was a little scary for the Maltese. The crowd was so thick you could barely see any art. Chris had to hold him in his arms in order to prevent anyone from accidentally stepping on the art-loving creature. Frankie realized very quickly that he would need Chris to take him on another trip to fully grasp the meaning of The Order of Things. Frankie understood that the group art show (Lisha Bai, Leah Beeferman, Ethan Greenbaum, Elisa Lendvay, Demetrius Oliver, Allyson Vieira, and Joe Winter) was discussing our relationship with the Universe and the concept of limited time before the World ends. Frankie shrugged in the memory of December 21. Luckily, the Mayans were wrong this time!
A redheaded lady who smelled like a cat approached Frankie and squeaked while touching his ears. “Awww, what a happy doggie!” Frankie didn’t like the cat smell too much. He was quite happy when his friend Chris saved him and told the cat lady that Maltese dogs don’t show their feelings on their faces. “When he’s happy, he sticks out his tongue.” Frankie’s tongue was nowhere to be seen. It was time to move on to the next gallery.
Between the warehouses, onto Weeknights
Trotting by Chris’ side on the walk between the warehouses, Frankie enjoyed the company and wit of Paul D’Agostino. This fella would always give him nice decent petting and add a good anecdote. Frankie also liked Don Pablo Pedro, whom they ran into earlier that night for his bold fashion choices and dog-loving approach. The final destination of the night was Weeknights, a gallery of Jen Hitchings at The Active Space. Frankie hadn’t met Jen yet, but was looking forward to the the exhibition of hilarious art she has prepared – especially after the serious subject of the End of the World.
Why so Serious? at Weeknights made Frankie – almost – stick his tongue out in joy. As he walked into the crowded gallery, he could hear the laughter of Theresa Daddezio, both live and from a recording. Theresa’s laughing piece included 1 hour and 40 minutes of pretty natural sounding laughter. Other pieces were as funny as promised and Frankie felt good to see a lighthearted optimistic show like this. After two cups of Trader Joe’s wine, lots of petting and even more art seen around Bushwick, both Frankie and Chris were ready to go home. After all, no art could ever beat the gigantic painting of Jim Herbert exhibited at English Kills….